RVs are homes on wheels that come in all sizes and styles but sometimes a few modifications are necessary for that ideal rig to work with your lifestyle. If you’ve ever considered modifying a RV to better suit your hobbies or work life, here’s one idea you might want to think about: modifying a fifth wheel bunkhouse RV into a workshop or office.
This RV is made by Northwood Manufacturing. It’s a 2010 Arctic Fox 275B, which is one of the few bunkhouse models that Northwood has produced through the years.
Since Northwood has a solid reputation for producing well-insulated, rugged trailers and fifth wheels, this 275B model can go just about anywhere, during any season.
As a family vacation fifth wheel it’s perfect; the bunks are suitable for any small human and even though the rig is smaller than most bunkhouse fifth wheels, it technically sleeps eight people. Not bad for a 27′ RV!
Overall it’s a great RV but there’s a way to make it even better if you don’t need to sleep two little humans in that bunkhouse; get rid of the beds and turn it into a workshop, office, recording studio or children’s play area. Here are things to consider when tackling your own DIY RV bunkhouse remodel project:
Envision your space
Have a strong vision of the finished project. Talk to others who will use the space and figure out where you want things to go. For example, where do you want a desk? A chair? A shelf? A closet? Sketch your ideas out on paper.
Carefully Dismantle the Sleeping Quarters
Use care when taking apart the bed frames and any framing and paneling in the rig. RV manufacturers most often use screws to assemble these pieces so you’ll want to use a long screwdriver to remove them. Remember to salvage any extra usable trim, framing and paneling, you may be able to save money by using these pieces in the remodel.
Take Care of Electrical
If your bunkhouse needs more electrical outlets, look for where you can tap into existing wiring at the nearest outlet or light, and run wiring to your new locations in the bunkhouse. Use the same gauge wiring that’s already in the RV and be careful not to overload circuits.
Install and Assemble Any New Framing
Your bunkhouse will most likely need some cabinets and storage areas. To build them, always use 1×2 pieces of lumber, not traditional 2x4s typically used for stick house framing projects, since this size is too heavy for most RVs. When working with the 1×2 pieces, pre-drilling your screw holes will prevent the screws from splitting the wood.
Shop for Recycled Finishing Materials
Stores that sell recycled construction materials are great for adding the finishing touches to your new bunkhouse at a fraction of the cost. Look for home building stores stocked with material salvaged from construction sites. You’ll more than likely be able to find usable materials that are needed to complete elements like storage compartment lids.
RVs get better all the time but the longer you live in one the more you’ll want to turn it into your own personalized space. Thankfully that’s not too big of a project for most RVs and if you have a knack for successfully completing minor home upgrade projects you can do a lot with a rig like this one.
Often called “The O.G. of full-time RVing,” Rene Agredano and her husband Jim Nelson hit the road in a fifth wheel trailer in 2007, after their dog Jerry lost a leg to terminal cancer. Sixteen years later they are still traveling and sharing their nomadic adventures at LiveWorkDream. As a self-employed wordsmith, Rene shares her expertise for many RV industry videos, publications such as the Escapees RV Club Magazine, and has authored numerous books, including the Essential RVing Guide to National Parks, and Income Anywhere, a guide to earning money on the road. She has been featured in global media outlets including the PBS documentary “NATURE: Why We Love Cats and Dogs,” The Guardian Sunday Edition, and the Dan Pink book Free Agent Nation.
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